Humboldt penguins are exceedingly cute and don’t stand quite as upright as many of their penguin cousins. About the size of a stuffed animal, they’re known around the western coast of South America, most commonly Peru and Chile.
Penguin name: Humboldt penguin
Scientific name: Spheniscus humboldti
Size: About 18 inches tall, and weigh about 10 pounds
Location: South America western coastline, mainly Chile and Peru
What Do They Eat? These guys love anchovies (not on their pizza), herring, smelt and of course, crustaceans
Main Enemies: Humboldt penguins need to watch out for predatory birds
photo by Digital Art
Humboldt penguins love warm water. They’re not at all fond of ice, glaciers, or ice cold water. They are also known as Peruvian penguins because they live off the coastline of Chile and Peru. They like to make their home on rocky islands. Humboldt penguins are smaller than many of their cousins, and look more like giant geese or ducks than a penguin because of the way they stand. Small flippers on either side of their body help to maintain balance.
Their flippers, which look like those on a dolphin, help these penguins to swim very fast. They like to eat their fish in one piece! Likes geese or ducks, they steer with their feet as well as their tail. Unlike many of their penguin cousins, they cannot hold their breath very long, but they do have very good eyesight and can easily find food both on land and water.
This breed of penguin is very friendly and social, and they like to talk with each other. They gather in large groups and are very shy. Did you know these penguins are different from their cousins because they can drink salt water and fresh water? Most mammals are unable to drink salt water without getting sick!
These little penguins can live quite a long time: up to 20 years in the wild and 30 years within the zoo. The next time you visit your local zoo, see if you can find out which type of penguin you’re looking at.